Welcome to the first edition of eShop Selects in 2024! We have made some exciting changes for this year. Not only do our staff and contributors at Nintendo Life select their top three eShop games through an internal vote, but we have also invited our readers to vote for their favorite eShop-only game of the month. In this article, we will unveil the winners and delve into the games that didn’t quite make the cut.

Although these games didn’t make it to the top, they are still worth mentioning. In third place, we have “Bahnsen Knights” from the Pixel Pulp series. Created by novelist Nico Saraintaris and artist Fernando Martinez Ruppel, this game combines the thrill of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books with breathtaking pixel art. In our review, we gave it a commendable 9/10 score.

Coming in at second place is “Hitman: Blood Money – Reprisal.” Before the World of Assassination trilogy, this game was considered the pinnacle of the Hitman series. With its diverse options and world-class stealth gameplay, it still holds its own, despite showing signs of age. Our review awarded it an 8/10 score.

Drum roll, please! The first winner of our eShop Selects reader’s choice vote in 2024 is “Lil’ Guardsman.” This adorable game seamlessly blends the style and humor of “Monkey Island” with a cute version of “Papers, Please.” With an original narrative and charming gameplay, “Lil’ Guardsman” has undoubtedly earned its place as the January 2024 winner. Our review also praised it with an 8/10 score.

In an overwhelming victory with 21% of the votes, the Reader’s Choice winner for January 2024 is “Arcade Archives Rainbow Islands.” This classic arcade game has stood the test of time and remains beloved by gamers even after 35 years. Hamster, the company behind its rerelease on the Switch, has done a fantastic job preserving its charm and challenge.

While the winners rightfully claimed their spots, there were other notable games vying for recognition. Let’s take a look at the games that didn’t make it to the top.

This intriguing title garnered 5% of the votes in the Reader’s Choice poll. Although it may not have won, “Crystal Project” deserves recognition for its unique gameplay mechanics and captivating story. While it didn’t make our top three, it is undoubtedly worth checking out.

Despite not receiving any votes, “Knights of the Rogue Dungeon” shouldn’t be overlooked. This eShop game offers a challenging and immersive experience for players seeking a dungeon-crawling adventure. While it may not have made an impact this time, it might still find its audience among Nintendo Switch owners.

In addition to the games listed above, there were a few other noteworthy titles released on the eShop in January 2024. “Turnip Boy Robs A Bank” and “The Pedestrian” received 5% of the votes each in the Reader’s Choice poll. Furthermore, 14% of voters chose “Something else” as their preferred game. While these games didn’t reach the top, they offer unique experiences that should not be overlooked.

Now that we have revealed the winners, you may be wondering how we select our top three eShop games each month. At the end of every month, the staff at Nintendo Life vote for their favorite digital-only Nintendo Switch eShop games from a curated list. To be eligible, these games must have been released in that specific month and reviewed on Nintendo Life. Our team selects the games based on their review scores. Each staff member ranks their top three choices, assigning 3 points to their first choice, 2 points to their second choice, and 1 point to their third choice. The votes are then tallied, and the game with the highest score claims the top prize for the month.

January 2024 saw some incredible eShop games vying for recognition. While “Lil’ Guardsman” took home the reader’s choice award and our staff’s hearts, the runners up, including “Bahnsen Knights” and “Hitman: Blood Money – Reprisal,” offered impressive gameplay experiences as well. Additionally, the classic “Arcade Archives Rainbow Islands” reigns supreme, reminding us that timeless games continue to captivate players.

As we move deeper into 2024, we eagerly anticipate the next wave of eShop releases and the opportunity to showcase the best games the platform has to offer.


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